People used to go to hotels for a step up in luxury bedding, and to stretch out and enjoy a superior night’s sleep. As consumers direct more of their disposable income towards home comforts, some people’s beds are hard to top. How to achieve the durability required of commercial bedding, combined with the luxurious technology of domestic lines?
Luckily, the bed manufacturers have you covered. They are one step ahead, and have designed ways to incorporate the luxury of domestic lines with the durability necessary for a commercial accommodation setting. So how important is it to provide the most comfortable bed possible?
Most accommodation providers have felt that cool breeze of discontent from a disgruntled guest – after a poor night’s sleep that has been attributed to shortcomings in your hotel bed.
While it is impossible to cater to every guest’s dorsal requirements, there’s plenty that can be done to ensure as many of your guests as possible enjoy blissful slumber, and glide past reception with the smug smile of the well-slept.
So, what is an accommodation provider to do to ensure guest comfort? What level of luxury do guests expect? How to combine luxury and durability in a commercial grade mattress? What factors should be considered? To lay these mysteries to rest, we asked some industry experts to fill us in on ideal solutions for every setting from five-star luxury to a busy backpackers’ hostel.
Roger Harris of Haven Distributing New Zealand says that while guests are more discerning overall, within the luxury market, consumers expect ‘extreme comfort’.
He says accommodation businesses are also looking for versatility: “We’ve seen a surge in ‘glamping’ facilities offering comfort, but also flexibility, with the use of multi-level bunk systems or versatile bed frames to maximise the potential yield.”
Space to stretch out: “Especially in larger facilities, where historically, a queen or king bed set was standard, super king and California king sized beds have become more prevalent.”
“Additionally, thicker and more luxurious mattresses, with plush comfort layers, are selected to offer guests a more pleasurable relaxing sleep experience.”
Mr Harris says the pursuit of comfort is driving technology: “Heat-tempered spring system technologies are instrumental in providing the primary level of support, as well as sustainably produced foam, memory foam, gel and natural latex, and comfort fibre materials.”
He added that the use of bed frames and bunk bed frames has emerged from the camping-with-the-kids category and become hip: “Especially in high volume and lower cost facilities, bunk beds are popular. They offer key components, such as the level of mattress spring support and, of course, aeration.”
What’s in a commercial bed?
“The use of heat tempered springs and high quality fire retardant mattress ticking fabric are vital ingredients to a quality commercial-grade mattress,” Mr Harris explained.
He says good sleep posture can be facilitated, or even promoted, through quality ‘zoned’ spring support systems, providing support in the key areas of body mass. Transportation also matters: “The springs must not be compressed during manufacturing or shipping.”
Mr Harris says the use of non-toxic materials and manufacturing processes should help provide allergy free sleep: “Hypo-allergenic and anti-microbial mattress protectors provide further protection against potential allergic reactions, as well as ongoing mattress cleanliness and protection.”
According to Mr Harris, a good quality New Zealand made mattresses is usually covered by a manufacturer’s warranty of up to five years: “This means that if manufacturing defects do occur, they are easily and quickly remedied.”
Mr Harris placed the lifespan of “a quality NZ-made mattress” at “up to ten years”, depending on occupancy percentages and bed maintenance: “The level of warranty provided on mattresses should be determined during the selection process, especially in relation of ‘return to factory’ policies,” he noted.
What should accom operators search for in a bed?
Peter Deveny of AH Beard says influencing factors can vary, and will largely depend on your budget, your clientele, and the characteristics of your individual property: “Generally speaking, they should be looking to buy the most technically advanced product that their budget allows.”
He says the better quality the spring system and foams are, the better the bed will perform: “You should be looking to use a high quality, zoned spring system, combined with locally produced comfort fills, such as foam and latex.”
“It’s vital to choose a spring system that is zoned, so that the spine and organs are supported correctly, and in a way that promotes good quality rest.”
Mr Deveny says a zoned mattress will provide contoured support, cradling the body for a supported sleep. This system supports concave areas of the body, and relieves pressure on the convex, such as the hips in a side sleeper.
“This not only means you wake feeing more rested, but also has benefits to the circulatory and nervous system. Unzoned support systems can exacerbate issues caused by build-ups of pressure on the skeletal system and muscles.”
“For respiratory health, research carefully to ensure your provider offers fabrics and foams that have been treated to resist mould, mildew and other allergens,” he added.
Mr Deveny also recommends sourcing mattresses that use pocket coil support systems, “due to their superior comfort and durability”: “Ten years ago, this technology was beyond the reach of all but the most elite properties, but current affordability means more properties are investing in this technology.”
He says the product life of a commercial mattress is influenced by factors like occupancy rates, bed maintenance, but also the quality and amount of comfort fill used: “However, properties should be expecting a highly serviceable lifespan of six to eight years.”
“Most consumers have very comfortable beds at home, and expect something equal to or better from a hotel, so it’s well worth investing in quality.” After all, a guest complaining of a poor night’s sleep is the last thing you want on TripAdvisor.